I try out so many glazes and very few of them actually look how they look on the test tiles and color charts at the store. Especially since I sometimes use white clay and other times use a dark red.
I didn't want to use up a ton of clay and I wanted my tiles to be easily accessible so I could see my collection at a glance. I also wanted to see how the glazes show or hide impressions and how it breaks over edges. And I wanted the tiles to sit vertically in the kiln so I could see how much they run and flow. Here's what I came up with.
Then I roll over each one with a rolling rubber stamp to make impressions on the rounded side. And just so I have more flexibility in how I display them later, I punch a hole at the end of each one with one of my kemper hole cutters.
As greenware, they take up very little space in the kiln. I generally toss them into a mug or something for the first firing.
When I'm ready to test a new glaze, I put a number on the back (the flat side) near the hole with an underglaze pencil. The hole will be the end that goes into the holder.
The white tiles go on one side and the colored tiles go on the other so I can quickly look over all of the colors of glazes according to color of clay the piece is made of.
I made labels with my handy dandy label maker and labeled each tile with the glaze color. In my database, I also have info on the manufacturer and the code number of the glaze in case they change the name in the future. And because you never know if two manufacturers are going to use the same name.
With this display set up, it's very easy to toss them into an old briefcase and set the aside when I don't need them. It's also easy to pick up one tile to look at it with another one to see if the two colors would look good together or to directly compare them. And when I run out of a glaze that I don't intend to replace, I toss the two corresponding tiles into an old mug in a drawer. That way I have the info if I want to consider buying that glaze in the future, but I'm not looking at it as a possibility for a piece if I don't actually have any of that glaze available at the moment.
Next post will talk about a test tile system for testing various combinations together which I'm stealing from a new friend of mine.